Breweries from across Yorkshire and the UK have started collaborating with the Maine Brewers’ Build (MBG), a group of craft brewers from the US state of Maine, in order to boost the trade of beer between the two markets.
MBG will also be bringing its ‘Maine Beer Box’ to the Leeds International Beer Festival in September. The box is a custom-built, 12-meter long refrigerated shipping container, complete with 78 beer taps on the side and a fully self-contained draught system, which will sell beers from a selection of Maine’s 115 breweries.
Once the festival is over, the box will be filled with beer from UK breweries and shipped back to Portland, Maine, where it will feature at the guild’s Winter Session Beer Festival in November.
“The American craft beer industry would not be where it is today without brewers from the UK. The Maine Beer Box is a unique and prominent symbol of the collaborative spirit of Maine, and American craft brewers,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of MBG.
The collaboration involves breweries of all sizes, with many of the Maine brewers travelling with their beer to the UK to meet Yorkshire breweries, share craft and pour beer side-by-side throughout the festival.
Yorkshire breweries are increasingly selling more products into the US market, according to the latest export figures. The region’s beverage manufacturers almost doubled their overseas trade to the US from £4.9 million in 2012 to £8.8 million in 2017.
“The exchange project is an excellent opportunity for Yorkshire’s finest to demonstrate the region’s brewing power overseas,” said Mark Robson, head of UK Regions, Yorkshire and the Humber at the Department for International Trade. “By partnering with MBG, we’re building bridges from Pontefract to Portland, and helping local brewers to kickstart their export journey and to gain ground in the US market.”